Aion Goes Free-to-Play in Europe; Pay-to-Play Model Continues to Die

The times, they are a-changin’.

The death knells for pay-to-play MMOs continue to sound as another big name in the genre transitions into the increasingly popular free-to-play model. In Europe, at least. Starting in February, Aion’s monthly subscriptions will be dropped and the basic game content will be available to you for free from the start.

Many believe that SWTOR will be the last big MMO to launch with a pay-to-play business model, and even World of Warcraft has dipped a toe in the free-to-play pool by letting new players level up to 20 before being charged.

I’ve always been opposed to subscription-based games, but will the age of free-to-play see a deluge of subpar MMOs?

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3 Comments on Aion Goes Free-to-Play in Europe; Pay-to-Play Model Continues to Die

Anonymous Tool

On January 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

“… but will the age of free-to-play see a deluge of subpar MMOs?”

You mean there aren’t a bunch of crap free-to-play MMOs out there already?

Anonymous Toolless

On January 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm

You mean there ARE a bunch of crap micro-transactions-to-play MMOs out there already?

Are there any free fully functional void of micro-transations and boosters?

Anonymous Wrex

On January 22, 2012 at 1:53 am

While World of Warcraft may let players play for free until level 20 there are two issues with considering it to be any sort of “dip into the F2P pool” by Blizzard.

First and foremost it only applies to trial accounts. Once you pay a subscription fee, even if you let your subscription lapse, that account can never again be used to “play for free until level 20.”

The other issue is in a way almost as bad. These accounts are far, far more limited than free accounts in the worst F2P MMO I’ve ever played. Communication with other players is nearly impossible unless they initiate it, and in World of Warcraft that’s a rarity, especially at lower levels. Your ability to take part in other aspects of the game are likewise severely limited. That’s only fair as it’s intended to be a trial account. The final, and in some ways worst, restriction is the level 20 cap. Once you’ve played World of Warcraft for a bit getting to level 20 can be done in a day, maybe two.